Day 26 of Homeschooling in the Middle East – My Bibliography: Growing and Evolving. I will update it regularly.

I thought I might write down books I’ve read about homeschooling. I can’t rate them because they are all really useful in different ways. What I’ll do is go back to this post – Day 26 – and periodically update it, rather than keep posting on other days. I might even add comments to the book’s I’ve listed as I re-read them with the eyes of a more experienced homeschooler (a few weeks or months old rather than days!) When I do this, I’ll post that I have done so, and you can use the ‘Search’ box at the bottom of the Homepage, type in ‘Day 26’ and hopefully it will come up and you will see the additions.

I hope my husband doesn’t read this post and tot up the amount of $$s we’ve spent on non-children related homeschooling ‘resources’!! He may have a point that 4 books or so is enough and that needing to keep reading/researching homeschooling further is getting kind of academic and only useful for my blogging which is a bad enough time-drain without being a money-drain too! But I love it! I want to thoroughly understand the philosophies and experiences ‘out there’ about homeschooling. And although I get a lot from other blogs/web searches, there’s nothing like a book! I love learning!  And I think it’s OK for have something I love for myself too? Right, readers?!  Hopefully I’m a good model for the kids 😉

I thought this post might be a fairly fast one to write, given I’ve been out of the house for the afternoon which is the time I try and write a draft, when the kids are playing outside with friends on the compound. But Edward attended his first ever ‘Chess Club’ today over at a different compound. He loved it and we are really looking forward to him attending regularly, to learn chess and meet some nice kids. He played with a ten year old today. Edward cheerfully told me that he’d been beaten but the boy said, ‘Only just!’ which, since so untrue, given Edward hardly knows the rules  yet, was such a kind and supportive thing to say my heart swelled with gratitude to him and I made sure I pointed out to Edward, in front of this lovely boy, what a super, supportive friend he was being and that this is how friends should be (especially since Edward suffers a lot from super-competitive friends who put him down rather than encourage him.) J

So, here we go, what I’ve read so far, in no particular order:

Parents as Mentors by Sandra Burt and Linda Perlis

The Willed Curriculum, Unschooling, and Self-Direction: What Do Love, Respect, Care, and Compassion Have To Do With Learning by Carlo Ricci

The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom by Mary Griffith. I have both the Kindle and paperback editions of this book!

Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything by  Laura Grace Weldon

The Everything Homeschooling Book: All you need to create the best curriculum and learning environment for your child by Sherri Linsenbach

Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3-to8- Year-Old Child by Linda Dobson

Stages of Homeschooling: Beginnings (Book 1) by Barbara Frank

Three Questions by Jon. J. Muth – ooops, that was for the children but it’s as good a homeschooling ‘textbook’ as any 😉

Books I have bought but haven’t yet read, but will do so within the next week or so:

Parents as Mentors by Sandra Burt and Linda Perlis

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort

I have a couple of books that I’m presently reading, because I have a paperback copy of one and a Kindle copy of the other (for walking around and around the compound for my daily exercise, if my friend isn’t available to join me!):

Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax

Viral Learning: Reflections on the Homeschooling Life by Mary Griffith

There are a few books that I can think of off the top of my head which may well have helped inform my homeschooling choice. I say ‘may well’ because it would have been subconsciously apart from ‘Better than Good’ listed below!

Better than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live by Zig Ziglar – superb book. It came along at just the right time for me.

Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World by Zig Ziglar

Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read by Diane Frankenstein

Reading Games for Young Children by Jackie Silberg

Raising Lifelong Learners by Calkins

Nurture Shock: Why Everything we think about Raising Children is Wrong by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (I love Po Bronson’s work). This book demolishes the ‘gifted and talented’ theory for children below about 12. Intelligence tests before this age are just not accurate and are not good predictors for which children will test ‘gifted and talented’ by age 12 and beyond. Children categorized as this before they are 12 are really just accelerated learners who, whilst bright, are (statistically) usually not exceptional once they’re older. This means that kids before about 12 shouldn’t be called ‘gifted and talented’ and should not be in special programmes, especially not publicly funded ones. This was a relief to know because so many parents around me consider their children ‘gifted and talented’ and I had to suffer their hubris! Now I just smile quietly to myself.

The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson. This book is food for thought for ‘helicopter parents’! When it comes to safety, I confess I am, but not in other ways I don’t think.

Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Fischer and Elaine Mazlish – This book persuaded me that despite the inevitable arguments, siblings can build a lifelong love for each other if they have enough shared happy memories. I hope homeschooling will give my kids a great opportunity to do this. The kids having a close, loving and supportive relationship is very important for my husband and I. Down through the generations, we don’t have a great history of close siblings in my family and think it’s a real loss.

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Fischer and Elaine Mazlish. This helped me feel that I could live with the kids in harmony for many, many hours a day for many, many years!

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Children are from Heaven: How to have Strong, Confident Children by John Gray

Screamfree Parenting: A Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel

Leader in Me by Stephen Covey

Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers – 8 Minute Routines to Help Your Child Grow Smarter, Be Happier, and Behave Better by Helen Garabedian

I bought these two books when Edward was really, really unhappy at school.

Kids Under Pressure: How to Raise a Stress-Free and Happy Child by Karen Sullivan. The solution wasn’t in this book. For us, taking away the stress, school, rather than teaching Edward how to cope better with it, whilst still suffering from it, was the answer. But it’s a good book.

Deeno’s Dream Journeys in the Big Blue Bubble: A Relaxation Programme to Help Children Manage their Emotions. We were lazy and never did these visualized relaxation exercises I’m afraid. But if you want to do them, this book is excellent for children.

My Current ‘Wishlist’

Again off the top of my head, I’m sure there are loads more I’ve just forgotten about this evening.

How Children Learn at Home by Thomas and Pattison

Free to Learn by Lynne Oldfield

Learning All the Time by John Holt. I think it’s just awful that I haven’t read any of the homeschooling guru John Holt’s books. I was a bit put off that they’re so old, but they are referred to time and again and I MUST read not just one, by a few of them.

Teach Your Own by John Holt

How Children Learn by John Holt

Better Late Than Early by Raymond Moore

Homeschooling for Success by Kochenderfer

The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles by Carol Barnier

I Learn Better by Teaching Myself by Agnes Leistico

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

My Reading List by Emily Ellison

Some Steiner biographies, not that I’m following Steiner although who knows, I might. But he seems like a fascinating character. I’m not sure I have time for this pleasure at the moment though.

Of course I have a MONSTER ‘wishlist’ of books I’d like to buy for the kids, for our ‘home library’. We have books strewn everywhere and I mean, EVERYWHERE! It drives my neat-by-nature husband crazy but my reasoning, which he finds hard to dispute, is that the kids learning is more important than tidiness and if there are books everywhere they are more likely to dip into them on a regular basis. And they do. Petra the book lover more so than Edward but even he doesn’t forget about books he likes as much if they’re close at hand, than if they were tucked away in a bookshelf. I think the fact the books are always so visible results in them asking me to read to them so frequently through the day which, I understand, is the number one thing to do if you want to instill a love of reading in your children (as well as show them you reading, well, that’s easy!). Read TO them rather than pressure them to read, even when they can.

What are your favourite homeschooling books? What are your favourite books to help inspire kids to love learning, either in specific subjects or just generally?

Don’t feel shy! Please always feel free to post comments on any of the days you read, however old they are. Your views are valuable and it’s always good to have debate. If you’re too busy to comment that day, but enjoyed what you read, please do press the ‘Like’ button at the end of the post. If you would like to make life easier (who doesn’t?!) scroll down the right hand side of the page and click the ‘Follow’ button. Posts will be delivered to your email inbox until such time you may not want them any more. Commenting, ‘Liking’, Following is much appreciated as it helps encourage more people to read homeschoolinginthemiddleeast! And commenting helps others who may well like to have more ideas or suggestions about the topic concerned. Any comments about Maths teaching is especially appreciated and suggestions about resources warmly welcome, as per the plea in my post Take care. Have a great day and thank you for visiting.


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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3 Responses to Day 26 of Homeschooling in the Middle East – My Bibliography: Growing and Evolving. I will update it regularly.

  1. Hmmm, as a writer and reader may I suggest you to reconsider piling up all your bibliography in one document. I think that would be too much for a simple reader who might lose concentration or interest. I would suggest you rather to either make several articles or, if you insist on the one article, divide it into subtitles under which you pile up a number of books. Good luck Penny. Really love your blog! I too have a blog which I would love you to visit if interested.

  2. shaema imam says:

    Have you read John Taylor Gatto, and Matt Hern? Hern’s book called Field Day, getting society out of school is really nice. He goes into detail about that Purple Thistle Centre you mentioned before.

    • I haven’t read Gatto yet but he’s so oft quoted I feel like I have! I would love to get Hern’s book but unfortunately it’s not on bookdepository. Wish you were here to swap books!

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